After months of shelter-in-place and travel warnings, Iceland reopened for tourist activity and international travel on June 15th. And so, if you’re headed to Reykjavik for a visit during the Iceland summer this year, just read through this article to prepare yourself for the best Icelandic style, sunshine, and moderate summer weather.
That said, there is no “one season fits all” attire when packing for a trip to Iceland. The weather on the island nation is notoriously unpredictable, meaning it’s best to come prepared.
So, how do you “come prepared” for a summer trip to Reykjavik?
This will come down to two fundamental factors: Iceland summer weather and the purpose of your trip.
Consider the Icelandic climate
The name “Iceland” can be a little deceiving since the country has winters that are more temperate than most believe. Even so, what about the summertime? Can a country called “Iceland” really get all that warm?
Summer temperatures hang out in the mid-sixties and climb up to the mid-seventies (Fahrenheit) in Reykjavik, which is located in the southern part of the country where the climate is milder. It can get chilly at night, but with the amount of sunlight during summer months, nighttime makes up a few hours of the day. In fact, on the longest days of the year, you’ll have as much as 20 hours of sunlight!
Though the sun might be out, the summer weather in Iceland can still change on a dime. Rain is common, and Reykjavik can get windy. To stay comfortable, packing and wearing layers is essential.
Your go-to clothing for summer in Reykjavik includes a nice set of light sweaters, sweatshirts, and light men´s jackets or light jackets for women. And jackets, of course, can include softshell, raincoats, down jackets and vests, depending on your activities or destinations. The right choice will keep you comfortable from the city out to the country and even on the popular boat tours (where the wind picks up considerably).
A solid packing list for a summer trip to Iceland will include:
And finally, as long as we are talking about a visit to Reykjavik in the summertime, prepare for the Midnight Sun. Because Reykjavik is on the southern half of the island nation, you’ll get a few more minutes of darkness at night than you would in the north. Still, on the longest days of the year, expect darkness from about midnight to shortly after three in the morning. That’s it. If you’re a fan of sunshine, you’ll be in heaven. This just makes layering that much more important. An eye mask, too, will be a must-have for many tourists who aren’t accustomed to the long summer days.
Consider the occasion when dressing for Reykjavik
Are you visiting Reykjavik for business or pleasure? Are you going with friends, family, or a partner? Whatever the occasion, you’ll want to consider the activities you plan to do so you can pack accordingly. For instance, most towns have a swimming pool, plus with the natural springs around the country, a summer trip might require a swimming suit. Bring one just in case.
Are you coming to Iceland for a conference? Will you be going out for nights on the town in Reykjavik? What formal clothing will you need to bring? Consider adapting your favorite formal or dressy attire to include a light jacket or vest on top (plenty of which can fit a color or style preference), or an extra layer underneath so you can adjust as necessary to the weather.
And what will your priorities be when you’re in the city? The Icelandic capital provides limitless opportunities for shopping and social excursions, so perhaps you’ll acquire some Icelandic fashion while you’re in town! The lopapeysa sweater, for instance, is a traditional Nordic sweater that is nothing short of beautiful—not to mention characteristic of Icelandic wool and the country’s centuries-old attire.
You can even visit any one of the Icewear stores in Reykjavik while you’re there to see our authentic Icelandic products and designs in person. Don’t be shy! One of our stores will be nearby, so be sure to visit!!
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An example of summer wear in Reykjavik
Nothing helps imagine the right style for the city better than an example. Take this classic combination, for instance, of the Dadi Men's Classic Raincoat over the Kjalar Men's Thermore Vest with Valur cotton pants. The light jacket protects you from the occasional winds—and, most importantly, will keep you dry. The relaxed fit also accommodates warm layers underneath, like the Thermore Vest. This vest, mind you, packs some surprises. For starters, it’s made from 100% recycled thermal insulation (using plastic bottles instead of oil), and it also has welded seams. This creates a superior water-proof seal for all your summer outings. As for the pants, this cotton-polyester blend is what we call techfleece. The pants have a relaxed feel, down to the waistband for adjusting (which is particularly handy after a big meal). And it's when you put this with the Thermore Vest and Classic Raincoat that you see it all come together for an easy-going look that doesn't sacrifice any comfort during the summer months.
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